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Saturday Night Service Transition

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  • Saturday Night Service Transition

    Hey friends! Our church is considering moving from two Sunday Services to two Saturday and Sunday (4 total services). We aren't concerned about having enough folks attending, but more about preventing burnout with our staff and volunteers. Here are some of the shifts I'm planning on making to accommodate. (note I'm not in charge of sound/production volunteers, we have another staff member is in charge of that area.)

    Increasing my staff to three Worship Leaders (myself included) and two interns. This will allow each of us to lead on a rotation of three weeks and take one week off, as well as be able to have worship in all of our student services as well as main service.

    Increasing band to 4 volunteers per position, that way they can play once a month and not be overused.

    Possibly moving to a paid model. My core base of volunteers have proven that they are willing to do a lot for free, and are wildly humble and altruistic. They would be willing to do this for free, but as I'm calling them to do more, I'd like to honor them financially.

    Serving dinner on Saturday night as volunteers serving both services will be there most of the afternoon/evening

    As I will also have to add a lot of high-quality volunteers in a short amount of time, do any of you have any successful methods for auditioning/integrating new folks? Our current model is a bit lacking.

    Those of you who have made this transition, or have thoughts, what am I missing? What am I overlooking, what are my blind spots? What challenges should we expect?


  • #2
    Well, for starters, it's cool that you are to the point you can add services and have enough attendees to sustain it.

    I would recommend that you reach out to other churches in your area or your denominational network and benchmark what they are doing. Find the ones who are successfully running Saturday and Sunday services and do what they do.

    Maybe as one possibility, expand to one Saturday service, get it stable and thriving, and then add another. Then you can spread out the search for more talent to support a 4th service.

    As you attempt to quadruple your team size, that will take time. Finding enough worship team volunteers with the right mix of good attitude and musical talent to field one team is not easy. Trying to build 3-4 on a short timeline will be difficult. Are there any 'worship leader' schools around you could partner with to recruit interns? Other than that, I don't see it being a 'short' process unless you start poaching or paying.

    Speaking of which, as a volunteer, I am glad to see you are aware of how much your volunteers contribute. It's good that you want to reward them financially. This I would want to look into others who have done this and made it work. I have heard a lot of horror stories about how their volunteers turned into paid staff (not just worship but office help, etc.) then things got weird because the relationship changed. Sometimes the volunteer-turned-staffer changes for the worse ("How much does HE get paid? "I want more money"). Sometimes the leader changes for the worst (I am your boss now, thou shalt do everything MY way). So switching to salary can often backfire. Not saying don't do it, but there could be landmines.

    Volunteers are there primarily because they want to make a positive difference. The three biggest motivators for volunteers are knowing they make a difference, being recognized for making a difference, and getting some kind of perk, like free food or a discount. In that sense, doing things like a volunteer recognition picnic, a recognition day in a church service, those are the kinds of things that matter most. If you wanted, you could do something like Guitar Center gift cards for your praise team, for example. I personally think this is a good idea because your instrumentalists have a personal investment that other volunteer ministries don't have. They have bought their own instruments and pay for maintenance like setups strings, cleaning, etc. whereas most other volunteers don't have those expenses (sound guys don't bring their own PA system each week, every church I have been in has their own mowers, weed eaters, mops and brooms).

    I hope it works out for you, let us know how it goes
    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.